The "Living Document," Buried Alive

By:  Jack Kenny
The "Living Document," Buried Alive

The Constitution may still be living, but it has been buried alive by deceit and sophistry. It may take archaeological tools to unearth the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and resurrect the principles of liberty that inspired them. 

People have been debating for a long time about whether or to what extent the Constitution of the United States reflects a biblical view of liberty and morality. But our nation's charter and the Sacred Scriptures have at least this much in common: Far more speak well of them than bother to read them. "Once again," a Washington Times editorial suggested on last year's Constitution Day, "the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution could be brought down from the shelves and dusted off. Once again, Americans may need to refresh their minds with the words and ideals of these documents and the words of those who made the ideals real."

A full twelve months have gone by since then, so perhaps another year's worth of dust has accumulated on those copies of the Declaration and the Constitution sitting on all those shelves. But the editorial writer may have been overly optimistic. It may take more than a dust cloth to uncover either document. It may take archaeological tools to unearth them and resurrect the principles of liberty that inspired them. The rights of life and liberty are endangered to the extent that we delude ourselves into thinking we have the right to pursue happiness at other people's expense without their consent. And the Constitution has become the "living document," beloved of those who would make it a political Rorschach test, allowing politicians and judges to see whatever they want to see in it at any given time. It may still be living but it has been buried alive by a cynical deceit and sophistry that make the "Newspeak" of George Orwell's 1984 seem almost candid by comparison.

Take for starters the "right" to abortion, proclaimed and celebrated once again in this year's Democratic platform. It is a "constitutional right" invented by lawyers and judges and nowhere mentioned nor even hinted at in the Constitution. Its "discovery" was made by learned judges in the "penumbras" formed by "emanations" from other rights that are stipulated in that hallowed document. But the Democrats take it a step further and declare a woman's "right" to "a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay."

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